How to Become a Mortician in Colorado

How to Become a Mortician in Colorado

The role of a mortician, also known as a funeral director, is to assist families in planning and arranging funeral services for their loved ones. Morticians provide compassionate support, handle legal documentation, embalm bodies, and oversee the overall funeral process. If you have a desire to help families during their difficult times and feel a calling to work in the funeral industry, becoming a mortician in Colorado could be a fulfilling career path. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to pursue this profession in the state, along with answers to commonly asked questions.

1. Obtain the Necessary Education
To become a mortician in Colorado, you need formal education in mortuary science. Start by researching and enrolling in an accredited mortuary science program. These programs offer courses in embalming, funeral service law, grief counseling, and other relevant subjects. Upon completion, you will earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in mortuary science.

2. Complete an Apprenticeship
After obtaining the required education, aspiring morticians must complete an apprenticeship. In Colorado, you need to complete a one-year, full-time apprenticeship under the supervision of a licensed funeral director or embalmer. This apprenticeship provides hands-on experience and allows you to gain practical skills in funeral service.

3. Pass the National Board Examination
To practice as a mortician in Colorado, you must pass the National Board Examination (NBE). The NBE is a comprehensive test that assesses your knowledge in funeral service arts and sciences. It consists of two parts: a written examination and an oral examination.

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4. Obtain a State License
Once you have successfully completed the apprenticeship and passed the NBE, you can apply for a state license. Contact the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) Funeral Service Board to obtain the necessary application forms. Submit the completed application along with the required documents and fees to obtain your mortician’s license.

5. Consider Additional Certifications
While not mandatory, obtaining additional certifications can enhance your career prospects and demonstrate your commitment to professional development. The Colorado Funeral Directors Association offers various certifications, such as Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) and Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC).

6. Seek Employment
After obtaining your mortician’s license, start searching for employment opportunities. Contact funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematories in your area to inquire about job openings. Network with professionals in the industry and consider attending job fairs or conferences to expand your connections.

7. Maintain Continuing Education
To stay current in the field and maintain your license, it is essential to participate in continuing education. Colorado requires morticians to complete at least ten hours of continuing education each year. Attend workshops, seminars, or online courses to fulfill this requirement and stay updated with industry advancements.


1. How long does it take to become a mortician in Colorado?
The process of becoming a mortician in Colorado typically takes around 2-4 years, depending on the chosen educational path and apprenticeship duration.

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2. Are there any age requirements to become a mortician in Colorado?
No, there are no specific age requirements to become a mortician in Colorado. However, most mortuary science programs require applicants to be at least 18 years old.

3. Can I become a mortician if I have a criminal record?
Having a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from becoming a mortician. However, each case is evaluated on an individual basis, and certain criminal convictions may affect your ability to obtain a license.

4. Is embalming a required skill for morticians in Colorado?
Yes, embalming is a required skill for morticians in Colorado. It is taught in mortuary science programs and is essential for preparing bodies for viewing and burial.

5. Are there opportunities for advancement in the funeral industry?
Yes, there are opportunities for advancement in the funeral industry. With experience and additional certifications, morticians can progress to managerial positions or even start their own funeral homes.

6. Do morticians work regular business hours?
While morticians often work regular business hours, the nature of the profession may require them to be available outside of typical working hours, especially during emergencies or when families need immediate assistance.

7. How much do morticians earn in Colorado?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, morticians in Colorado earn an average annual salary of around $57,000. However, salaries may vary based on experience, location, and the size of the funeral home.

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Becoming a mortician in Colorado requires dedication, compassion, and a commitment to serving grieving families. By following the outlined steps and continually expanding your knowledge and skills, you can embark on a rewarding career in this important profession.